Northeast Business Group on Health Releases Employer Guide to Managing Current and Future Pandemics
Guide identifies seven action steps for employers including developing a vaccine engagement strategy
NEW YORK, February 10, 2021 – Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) has released “Pandemic Response, Recovery and Planning: Lessons Learned for Employers in 2020,” a comprehensive guide to help HR and benefits leaders manage their workforces safely and effectively both during and after the pandemic ends, and to prepare them for future pandemics.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has created a host of new health and workplace challenges for both employers and employees, and has upended life as we know it for millions of workers and their families,” said Candice Sherman, Chief Executive Officer of NEBGH. “Employers adapted well over the past ten months to address the pandemic, in part because HR and benefits leaders were newly empowered to help guide flexible work strategies and determine how best to support employees’ health and well-being. We’ve incorporated many of their best practices into the guide to assist other employers as they continue to navigate through the pandemic.”
The guide, “Pandemic Response, Recovery and Planning: Lessons Learned for Employers in 2020,” features seven recommended action steps for HR and benefit managers in three key areas:
- Best practices in tracking and responding to a changing pandemic, providing Covid-safe workplaces and supporting employees in working remotely.
- Issues for employers to work on now and in the near future until the pandemic runs its course, a vaccine is widely deployed and/or there is a transition to some semblance of normal.
- Preparations employers can make now, before a new pandemic emerges.
For each of the seven action steps, the guide provides comprehensive information, including dozens of downloadable resources and checklists that managers and, in some cases, employees can use. As an example, the guide recommends employers develop a compelling vaccine engagement strategy and includes a checklist of nine initiatives to successfully implement such a strategy. These include developing a vaccine education program, exploring workplace vaccination clinics, providing incentives and rewards for vaccinations, and collaborating with health plans on vaccinations.
“Having a vaccine strategy for employees needs to be one of the highest priorities for employers. As one of the few remaining institutions in which Americans still have some degree of confidence and trust, employers have an important role to play in disseminating accurate education and information about vaccines, and engaging employees and their families in obtaining them,” said Dr. Mark Cunningham-Hill, Medical Director, NEBGH.
Prepare Now for the Next Pandemic
The guide also includes detailed information on the World Health Organization’s Pandemic Phases Framework, which can help employers and HR enhance their preparedness for future pandemics. The framework identifies the levels of risk during six phases of a potential pandemic and what actions HR should consider in terms of preparing for the pandemic and managing during it.
“The experts say it is not a question of if but when a future pandemic will occur. And while it’s impossible to be 100% prepared for future pandemics, employers can enhance their preparedness. The guide gives employers the resources and information they need to be better prepared,” said Sherman.
The guide is available free of charge to all employers and the public at large, and can be accessed here.
About Northeast Business Group on Health
NEBGH is an employer-led, multi-stakeholder coalition that empowers members to drive excellence in health and achieve the highest value in healthcare delivery and the consumer experience. NEBGH employer/purchaser members cover 6 million lives in the U.S. and 10 million globally.